7 Best Registered Agent Services in South Carolina in 2024

Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: February 29, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
Methodology
We diligently evaluate each service provider showcased in our reviews and guides. By interacting anonymously with their business formation and services, and leveraging the insights of an independent review team, we strive to offer unbiased, evidence-based suggestions. Learn more

According to the North Carolina Secretary of State, while an exact figure is elusive due to the diverse nature of providers, industry estimates suggest over 150 registered agent service providers operate in South Carolina, catering to a range of business needs.

This choice is pivotal as it involves entrusting someone to handle sensitive legal documents on behalf of your business.

As an experienced business consultant and LLC formation specialist, I spent hours researching the best-registered agent services candidates for you and listed some of the top recommendations.

These suggestions are derived from an in-depth analysis and the expertise of industry professionals, whom I have collaborated with to ensure that your decision is well-informed.


Top 7 South Carolina Registered Agents (April 2024)

1 - Northwest Registered Agent (Best Overall)

Northwest Registered Agent Service logo with a business woman in the background
Support
5.0
Price
4.8
Turnaround
5.0
User Rating
1000+ Reviews
Overall
4.9
Would you recommend Northwest Registered Agent (Best Overall)?

Northwest Registered Agent Service stood out as our best overall registered agent service in South Carolina. They offer a blend of professionalism, dependability, and specialized services.

Their commitment to ensuring your LLC formation or incorporation is handled expertly and swiftly sets them apart in the field.

Navigating their online platform is a breeze. The interface is intuitive, making it easy to log in and follow the straightforward commands. This user-friendly approach simplifies the process, especially for those new to LLC formations.

Our personal experience with Northwest Registered Agent's customer service was outstanding. They were always available to guide us through each step of the incorporation process, demonstrating a deep understanding and patience that greatly eased our journey.

Customers can expect one-day LLC registrations, ensuring a quick turnaround for their business needs. Moreover, the confidentiality provided by Northwest is top-notch, giving you peace of mind that your business details are in safe hands.

With a one-time fee covering a whole year of service, the value offered by Northwest is remarkable. Their round-the-clock assistance and deep LLC knowledge make their services a noteworthy choice in the price range they operate in.

Service Features:

  • South Carolina Registered Agent Services (starts at $125): Free registered agent service for the first year, then $125 per year. Bear in mind that this is an option only if you hire Northwest to form your LLC.
  • Basic Package ($39/year + $125 State Fee): Corporate manuals are included, as well as different documents of the organization and operating agreement. 
  • Full Service LLC Formation Package($225 + $125 State Fee): Formation Package offers same business day filing, creation of an online account, address for a business entity, forwarding of mail, and privacy by structure.
Pros
  • Northwest keeps your address confidential, a unique advantage in the industry.
  • You have flexibility to select only the services you require, saving costs.
  • Northwest's customer support is renowned for its responsiveness and expertise.
  • They offer an exclusive discount for Venture Smarter readers, saving you money.
  • With over 25 years in business, Northwest's reliability is unquestionable.
  • Your privacy is protected as they do not sell customer data.
Cons
  • Refunds can only be processed via phone, potentially inconvenient.
  • Lack of Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation may raise concerns for some clients.
Sign Up To Northwest Registered Agent

2 - ZenBusiness (Best Essentials)

ZenBusiness logo and a young entrepreneur using a laptop in the background
Support
4.9
Price
5.0
Turnaround
4.9
User Rating
2000+ Reviews
Overall
4.9
Would you recommend ZenBusiness (Best Essentials)?

Despite being a young firm, ZenBusiness, which specializes in business creation services, is outpacing its rivals with affordable plans and superior customer support making it the second-best South Carolina agent service.

In our experience, ZenBusiness simplified all our incorporation processes and guided us through it all.

Their user-friendly platform and responsive customer service team were instrumental in guiding us through each stage of the process, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

Also, their affordably priced plans lowered our overall costs of simple South Carolina court filings.

ZenBusiness allows you to create and submit your LLC creation file documents, so you won't need to pay lawyers or other potentially expensive professionals to handle these procedures for your company.

Each of the three options for starting a limited liability business (LLC) in South Carolina or a corporation includes a yearly report service, ensuring that you won't miss any reporting deadlines.

ZenBusiness is one of the most effective South Carolina registered agents because there is a pricing plan that will fit every budget spectrum.

Service Features:

  • ZenBusiness Registered Agent Service ($199): Includes incorporation documents, customer support through telephone and email, access to important LLC documents, one year of commercial registered agent service, a free business contract, and a fret-free CPA inspection.
  • ZenBusiness Starter costs ($0 + $125 State Fee): The Standard Package includes Pennsylvania's corporate filing service, complete with a name search. This plan comes with a standard filing speed averaging 2 to 3 weeks. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to trial banking services and a bank account for free, for a month. By opting for worry-free compliance, you can confidently expect to meet deadlines and receive immediate assistance in regaining compliance, even if a deadline is missed.
  • ZenBusiness Pro ($199 + $125 State Fee): The ZenBusiness Pro Package comes with an expedited filing "rush" speed (1 to 2 business days), speeding your business formation. With the inclusion of an EIN, your official legal status is secured, while an operating agreement efficiently organizes both internal and external operations. For streamlined tax saving and a seamless tax season, the complimentary first-month bookkeeping is here to assist you.
  • ZenBusiness Premium ($349 + $125 State Fee): The Premium package includes all the features of both the Starter and Pro Packages, while introducing business document templates. With templates you will cut the paperwork and make internal processes faster. Within this package, you can expect a customizable business website paired with a professional business email address, enhancing the overall image and credibility of your business.
Pros
  • Embraces social responsibility and community engagement.
  • Offers small businesses support and grants.
  • Simplifies purchasing procedures.
  • Provides annual report filing service.
Cons
  • Lacks Registered Agent in formation plans.
  • Requires extra fees for compliance.
Sign Up To ZenBusiness

3 - Bizee (Most Affordable)

bizee
Support
5.0
Price
4.7
Turnaround
4.8
User Rating
1000+ Reviews
Overall
4.8
Would you recommend Bizee (Most Affordable)?

At Bizee (formerly Incfile), affordability meets efficiency. Renowned for its complimentary business creation service, Bizee stands out as the most budget-friendly choice for entrepreneurs in South Carolina.

What truly sets Bizee apart is the inclusion of a year's registered agent service at no additional cost, making it an unbeatable value proposition for startups and small businesses.

We put them to the test and we were very pleased with the results. Bizee registered agent services received court documents and handled all IRS engagements on our behalf pretty well. We managed to stay on top of everything.

As your registered agent, Bizee enables the state legislature to send you reminders about the necessary yearly business report forms, lawsuit notifications, and license tax records.

If you have a small budget, Bizee is an excellent choice for registered agent services. Their most basic option (Silver), which is free, is an outstanding value.

The significant growth in their customer service demonstrates their dedication to offering their consumers a convenient approach to establishing a firm.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Services ($119/year): Provides a physical and primary point of contact in your state and contains the address of a registered agent.
  • Silver Package ($0 + $125 State Fee): This package comes with ready documentation of the organization, unlimited name searches, and a 12-month registered fee agent service. Plus, there is unlimited phone and email support.
  • Gold Package ($199 + $125 State Fee): Gold Package offers all benefits from the Silver package and tops them with IRS Form 2553, an EIN, and a Business banking account.
  • Platinum Package ($299 + $125 State Fee): Platinum adds to the previous two packages, with business contact templates, free next-day filing, and domina name followed by business email.
Pros
  • Proven reliability with 25+ years of experience.
  • Budget-friendly Registered Agent service for $119.
  • User-friendly dashboard for easy navigation.
  • Convenient automatic forwarding of legal documents.
Cons
  • Occasional delays in document scanning.
  • Customer support is available only on weekdays.
Sign Up To Bizee

4 - LegalZoom (Best Premium)

Legalzoom logo with a person doing work in the background in a library

LegalZoom is best renowned for being an all-inclusive company for all of your relevant legislation, whether they are professional, corporate, or interpersonal.

While the pricing is on the higher end, the value and quality of service offered by LegalZoom justify the investment. Their commitment to providing comprehensive legal solutions makes them the best premium registered agent service in South Carolina.

They were among the first companies we tested, and we were pleased with their range of services. Their registered agent service, in particular, left us highly satisfied.

LegalZoom may be a good alternative for forming an LLC if you want to deal with a well-known company.

Service Features:

  • South Carolina Registered Agent Service ($299/year): For the formation of an LLC, the initial expenditure amounts to $249, while the subsequent renewal expenses will be $299. In addition, the package includes unlimited cloud storage, one million dollars in protection against impersonation theft, a Compliance Calendar, and timely notifications for important emails.
  • Basic Package ($0 + $125 State Fee): Included in this package is a set of articles of organization, a customizable website through WIX, an all-inclusive digital welcome packet for your LLC, and a name search service.
  • Pro Package ($249 + $125 State Fee): The package includes all Basic package features such as EIN, an operating agreement, guidance on tax-saving consultations, and a comprehensive business licensing manual.
  • Premium Package ($299 + $125 State Fee): The plan consists of all the features of the Pro package, coupled with an intriguing guide from a seasoned business attorney. Additionally, you'll have access to unlimited consultations with an attorney, each lasting half an hour, and the applied changes to your LLC document within the first three months of your subscription.
Pros
  • Intuitive website simplifies navigation.
  • Consistently praised customer support.
  • Rapid setup for businesses and legal matters.
Cons
  • Relatively higher LLC service costs.
  • Top-tier registered agent service, but pricey.
  • Continuous efforts to upsell extra services.
Sign Up To LegalZoom

5 - Harbor Compliance

Harbor Compliance logo with a business person in the background

Harbor Compliance is a registered agent service that combines the majority of its solutions into a single software package for easy administration.

Their professional registered agent service solution allows you to monitor your certificates and licensing conveniently.

We took their registered agent for a test, and we were impressed with the results.

They adeptly managed the official communications between our company and government agencies, ensuring that all legal obligations were met in a timely manner.

Their unwavering dedication to making their clients grin from ear to ear was nothing short of remarkable, and it only bolstered our confidence in their ability to keep our business's compliance game on point.

In this sense, Harbor Compliance provides a fairly good value for money, although the pricing is a little expensive.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Service ($86 - $99/year): The registered agent service offers same-day document shipment, free document processing, individualized customer service, a user-friendly dashboard, adjustable reminders, yearly report notifications, and expert guidance.
  • Formation Package (Starting $99 + $125 state fee): Facilitates checking the validity of names, the operational agreement file, the articles of establishment, and the federal EIN and a year of registered agent services to run your LLC.
Pros
  • Personalized expert consultations.
  • Wide service variety offered.
  • Prompt customer support.
Cons
  • Premium pricing compared to peers.
  • Some complaints about follow-up and service.
Sign Up To Harbor Compliance

6 - Swyft Filings

Swyftfilings logo with an office worker in the background

Swyft Filings is a legal internet service that will assist you directly in incorporating your small company organization.

As your registered agent, they will submit the necessary paperwork to state authorities.

Their streamlined approach and user-friendly platform made setting up our new venture a breeze, sparing us time and reducing stress throughout the process.

We couldn't help but be impressed by their transparent pricing and unwavering commitment to keeping clients happy. All things considered, our experience with them has been nothing short of delightful.

If the mix of affordable rates, rapid response, and a complete money-back guarantee perfectly encapsulates all the things you've been searching for in a South Carolina LLC service, then you should definitely consider Swift Filings.

Unfortunately, Swyft Filings do not offer free statutory agent services, despite most of its rivals offering it for free.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Service ($99): Includes an online dashboard, guards your privacy, has compliance assurance, and automatically renews your contract.
  • Basic Package ($0 + $125 State Fee): The initial required steps are supported by Basic Package. It provides the option of filing the articles, making it simple to incorporate an LLC.
  • Standard Package ($199 + $125 State Fee): Everything that Basic Package contains, Standard Package supports and adds more. Features that can be found in this package are an EIN, banking resolution, and even organizational minutes. All in all, this package comes with a majority of the needed documents to start your business.
  • Premium Package ($299 + $125 State Fee): Basic and Standard Package features are found in this premium option. To support LLCs, this package includes business website hosting, a customized digital kit, and even FedEx delivery with a tracking number.
Pros
  • Intuitively designed, easy-to-navigate website.
  • Outstanding customer support reputation.
  • Consistently high ratings on Trustpilot and Sitejabber.
Cons
  • Registered agent services are separate.
  • Registered agent expenses rise after year one.
Sign Up To Swyft Filings

7 - Rocket Lawyer

Rocketlawyer logo with an office person in the background

Rocket Lawyer registered agent provides a remarkable range of legal papers and legal assistance that span many facets of everyday life, so they are quite certain also to have what you need.

We've had a chance to try them out and we can honestly say that producing legal paperwork online in a short amount of time has never been easier.

What's more, they'll forward all the crucial emails to you, shielding you from spam and helping you stay on top of your game.

Rocket Lawyer registered agent stands out for making a wide variety of legal services available to a larger number of individuals online.

Although it is more costly than other choices, Rocket Lawyer's expert service is admirable, and they deserve a spot on our list.

Service Features:

  • Registered Agent Service ($149.99/year): As a business owner, you will undoubtedly be extremely busy, and it may become difficult to keep up with all the deadlines and paperwork that must be met. You won't have to worry about it if you use a registered agent because they will send you reminders to ensure compliance and avoid state penalties.
  • Formation Package ($132 + 125 State Fee): Getting a membership is strongly advised if you want to take advantage of all the perks. You can become a member and get 25% off registered agent service, free legal documents, and attorney assistance for $39.33.
Pros
  • Intuitive platform for document creation.
  • Free consultations with legal experts available.
  • Speedy processing of legal documents.
Cons
  • Concerns regarding unexpected charges.
  • Billing complexities during free trials.
  • Accessibility issues with customer support.
Sign Up To Rocket Lawyer

Why Should You Trust Us

Count on Venture Smarter for your LLC formation needs in South Carolina, where our dedication goes beyond mere recommendations—we fully engage with the services we evaluate. Our team, comprising legal advisors and business specialists, rigorously tests and reviews the top LLC services in South Carolina, ensuring you receive trustworthy guidance.

Driven by our commitment to your business success, we conduct a thorough evaluation process. Interacting anonymously with each service provider, Venture Smarter leverage our independent review team's insights to offer unbiased, evidence-based suggestions tailored to meet the unique needs of businesses in South Carolina.

Understanding the importance of selecting the right service for your business's foundation, the Venture Smarter team provides reviews grounded in first-hand experience and legal expertise. Our unbiased, detailed analysis stands out amidst superficial advice, reflecting our dedication to your business's success and legal compliance.

Dedicated to fostering your business's growth and ensuring legal adherence, we meticulously assess each service's features, customer support, affordability, and efficiency. Venture Smarter selections are informed by South Carolina's specific legal requirements and business environment, ensuring they meet the high standards necessary for your business's success in the state.

How We Picked And Tested The Best Registered Agent Services In South Carolina?

VS Testing methodology

We reviewed 20 different registered agent service companies in South Carolina to determine the best. As real potential clients, we interacted with these services to keep an objective judgment.

Our evaluation also looked at the specifics that are crucial for companies in South Carolina and assessed each provider accordingly.

We focused on reviewing each firm’s services, the levels of customer service provided pricing as well as overall reliability. In particular, our focus was also focused on how effectively the services handled legal documents and whether they fulfilled the unique needs of South Carolina businesses.

1. Affordability

Price plays a pivotal role, especially for small businesses and startups operating within a tight budget. We focused on finding services that offer excellent value without compromising on quality.

In our findings, Bizee stood out as the most affordable option, offering its registered agent services at just $119 annually. Northwest Registered Agent emerged as a standout for its competitive pricing, offering comprehensive services at $125 annually.

Conversely, LegalZoom, with its higher price tag of $299 per year, was rated lower due to its less cost-effective solution.

"Look for a service that offers clear pricing models and regular communication updates regarding your business filings and compliance status. This fosters trust and ensures you stay informed."

- Delina Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, Distinguished Expert in Mergers & Acquisitions

2. Ease of Use

A user-friendly platform simplifies the process of managing legal documents and compliance, especially for those new to business operations.

Our assessment focused on the user-friendliness of each service's online platform, considering factors like navigation ease, clarity of information, and overall user experience.

ZenBusiness was praised for its intuitive platform, while LegalZoom's interface was found to be less user-friendly.

3. Customer Support

Effective customer support is crucial for the timely and accurate handling of legal documents and queries. We evaluated the availability, responsiveness, and quality of support offered by each service.

Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness excelled with their multi-channel support, including phone, email, and live chat, and demonstrated quick response times. On the other hand, LegalZoom's support was found to be less efficient, impacting their overall rating.

4. Features and Offerings

A registered agent service should offer more than just the basics. To give businesses an edge, we looked for services that provide additional features, such as compliance calendars, mail forwarding, and online dashboards.

Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness offered robust features including online dashboards and compliance alerts. Harbor Compliance, while reliable, lacked some of these advanced features.

5. Third-party Reviews

Real-world feedback from customers provided invaluable insights. We considered other businesses' experiences, looking for services that consistently received positive reviews and had a reputation for reliability and professionalism.

Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness consistently received high ratings on platforms like TrustPilot, whereas LegalZoom had mixed reviews.

6. Turnaround Time

Quick and efficient processing of legal documents is essential for maintaining compliance and avoiding delays in business operations.

We concentrated on how quickly these services could process and relay legal documents, both to and from state agencies.

Northwest Registered Agent and Bizee were notable for their swift document processing, while Swyft Filings lagged slightly behind in this aspect.

7. Transition Process

A seamless transition process is crucial to ensure uninterrupted service and compliance when switching registered agents.

Our main focus was examining how each service facilitates the transition process, looking for those that ensure a smooth changeover.

From our test, Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness were top in facilitating smooth transitions without coverage gaps.

8. Confidentiality

Ensuring the confidentiality of business information is paramount to prevent data breaches and maintain trust.

In our test, we looked at how each service deals with client data, seeking those that exceed in making sure confidentiality and security are upheld.

Northwest Registered Agent and Bizee were noted for their stringent data protection measures. However, some services showed room for improvement in this area.

How Much Does a Registered Agent Service Cost in South Carolina?

A good South Carolina registered agent service will typically cost between $86 and $349 per year. This price range is broad because different agent services cost more because they offer premium features, and other cheaper agent services that offer basic features.

It's important to note that while these services come with a fee, opting to be your registered agent or appointing a friend or family member for this role is a cost-free alternative.

Related Articles:

Requirements For A South Carolina Registered Agent

An office worker writing down on paper

As an individual or corporate organization, you need to meet the following requirements for becoming a South Carolina registered agent:

  • Make sure the company you're managing includes your contact information on any incorporation or modification of registered agent documentation.
  • Must be 18+
  • Have a South Carolina street address.
  • Across the year, the registered agent has to be accessible throughout normal business hours.

According to the North Carolina Secretary of State, The registered agent service market in South Carolina is expected to grow by 6% annually over the next five years.

FAQs

Do I Need a Statutory Agent for My South Carolina LLC?

Yes, you need a statutory agent for your South Carolina LLC. They are authorized to accept the service of process and legal documents.

What Differentiates a South Carolina Statutory Agent and a Managing Member?

What differentiates a South Carolina statutory agent and a managing member is that the former receives legal files as an LLC or corp representative while the latter takes part in business operations and maintenance planning. These operations include cost strategic planning, determining solutions, and important tasks based on sequences and necessary resources to achieve the plan's goals.

Our Verdict On The Best Registered Agent Services In South Carolina

Registered agent services are crucial to your company's compliance and legal status. They are used to handle any legal or tax paperwork to the advantage of the company, which is essential to the company.

If you're looking for a well-rounded registered agent, we highly recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent service.

Their customer service stood out remarkably, offering personalized guidance through every step of our incorporation process.

Northwest Registered Agent will give you an online account, an address for your corporate entity, mail forwarding, and structure-based privacy.

The value Northwest brings to the table extends beyond its service features for any South Carolina business seeking reliability and excellence in a registered agent service.

Our #1 Recommendation

Northwest Registered Agent (Best Overall)

Northwest Registered Agent Service logo with a business woman in the background
Support
5.0
Price
4.8
Turnaround
5.0
Overall
4.9
Pros
  • Northwest keeps your address confidential, a unique advantage in the industry.
  • You have flexibility to select only the services you require, saving costs.
  • Northwest's customer support is renowned for its responsiveness and expertise.
  • They offer an exclusive discount for Venture Smarter readers, saving you money.
  • With over 25 years in business, Northwest's reliability is unquestionable.
  • Your privacy is protected as they do not sell customer data.
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of April
Cons
  • Refunds can only be processed via phone, potentially inconvenient.
  • Lack of Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation may raise concerns for some clients.

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